Deepfake technology, often associated with identity theft and scams, holds a dual potential that mirrors the utility of a simple kitchen knife, suggests John Egan, CEO of L’Atelier BNP Paribas, that detecting deepfakes is the only solution.
In a recent Euronews Tech Talks episode, Egan addressed the world of AI deepfakes, exploring their harmful aspects and their potential for positive applications.
L’Atelier BNP Paribas, where Egan leads, specializes in advising European governments on technology policies and investments. This expertise places Egan in a unique position to comment on the ever-evolving landscape of deepfake technology.
One intriguing application of deepfakes is in addressing grief and loss. Reminiscent of a “Black Mirror” episode, real-life examples like Kim Kardashian’s digital resurrection of her late father show how deepfakes can bridge the gap between the living and the deceased. This technology isn’t just about rekindling memories, it extends to practical uses in business and personal life. Egan envisions a future where AI creates multilingual bots for global businesses or provides elder care through AI assistants with familiar faces, combating loneliness and enhancing personal care.
The Risks Are Evident
The intensively rapid spread of misleading information and non-consensual pornographic content illustrates the darker side of deepfake technology. This industry, quick to adopt new tech, exemplifies how deepfakes can become commercially viable for harmful purposes.
To combat these threats, Egan advises caution in managing online profiles, suggesting that less personal information online means less material for misuse. He also provides tips for detecting deepfakes, such as looking for inconsistencies in skin tone or unusual facial expressions, though he admits these cues are becoming harder to discern with advancing technology.
Is this the beginning of the end of ethics? It seems new lines are being drawn in digital ethics. Now is the time we draw the line between what’s beneficial and what’s harmful.
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